July started off with a bang, literally. Fourth of July fireworks over San Diego Bay was my first photo outing of the month. I had wanted to create images that would emphasize the comprehensive scale of the fireworks display. To achieve that objective, I decided to shoot from Lucinda Street with its grand view of San Diego Bay. It must have been an excellent idea since there were score of like-minded photographers crowding the street.
July continued to be special, very special. My article about bird photography in the Prince William Sound and Potter's Marsh, near Anchorage, Alaska, appeared in the July/August issue of Bird Watcher's Digest. Then, to make July even more special, my article chronicling our trip to the Yukon was published in the summer issue of Nature Photographer. What a marvelous month July was turning out to be.
Also contributing to the distinct special nature of July was a long-awaited photo excursion to the Palouse region of southeastern Washington state. A photo trip to the Palouse had been on my to-do list for many years. I had seen other photographer's images of the area and have long had a desire to try capturing the unique landscape of this area myself. The Palouse is a vast agricultural region of some 6,000 square miles. The prairie like terrain was formed by fertile loess dunes created during past ice ages. The resulting smoothly rounded knolls and dales have created a picturesque quilt work of cultivated fields that are a challenge to photograph. You can see the results of my efforts in the Palouse Gallery.
Bruce Hollingsworth was my photo-buddy on this trip and en route to the Palouse we spent some time capturing images at Mono Lake and the ghost town of Bodie. It was fascinating to learn how the chemical reaction of calcium rich spring water with the carbonate composition of the saline Mono Lake created the unique tufa formations. We were up early and out late attempting to photograph the tufa towers in the magical light of sunrise and sunset. See the photo Gallery for the results.
The old gold mining ghost town of Bodie was a stark change from the natural formations of Mono Lake. This ghost town is being preserved as a California State Historic Park in a state of "arrested decay". It was equally fascinating to capture images of the old abandoned homes and businesses in Bodie. Most of the original buildings have been destroyed by fire, but in the late 1880's Bodie had 10,000 inhabitants and was as bad a place as any of its contemporary gold rush camps.